Search resumes for Brian Laundrie at Florida reserve

Gabby Petito

This photo provided by North Port Police Department, law enforcement officials conduct a search of the vast Carlton Reserve in the Sarasota, Fla., area for Brian Laundrie on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021. Laundrie is a person of interest in the disappearance of his girlfriend, Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito. (North Port Police Department via AP)

NORTH PORT, Fla. (ABC4) – The search is back on for Brian Laundrie in a Florida nature reserve. This comes after FBI agents swarmed the home of his parents on Monday.

Laundrie and his fiance, Gabby Petito, were said to have been living in the Laundrie family home in North Port, Florida, before embarking on a cross-country road trip earlier this summer. While Laundrie is said to have returned to the Florida home on Sept. 1, Petito was reported missing by her family 10 days later.

On Sunday, during a search sparked by tips received by the FBI, authorities found a body matching the description of Petito in the Grand Tetons National Park area in Wyoming. Last week, North Port Police said they knew where Laundrie – a person of interest in Petito’s disappearance – was located. That changed Friday when police say his parents notified them that Laundrie had not been seen since Tuesday.

Law enforcement then began searching the Carlton Reserve, a 25,000-acre nature area near North Port. Laundrie is said to frequent the property, prompting the search. Multiple agencies were deployed Saturday and Sunday but were unsuccessful. Monday morning, North Port Police announced there was no major search planned for Laundrie.

A short time later, officers and FBI agents arrived at the Laundrie family home. They were later seen leaving the home with a Ford Mustang – believed to be driven by Laundrie – and multiple boxes. It is currently unclear what they were searching for and what was retrieved from inside the home.

On Tuesday, North Port Police say they will resume searching Carlton Reserve from the Venice side. Brian Entin, a correspondent with ABC4 affiliate NewsNation, reports this is now an FBI-led investigation with North Port Police assisting.

The Carlton Reserve, located about 75 miles south of Tampa, is swampy, according to Entin. The area also saw rain on Monday. Police are calling the reserve an “unforgiving location” with not only flooding on some of the hiking and biking trails but alligators and snakes posing safety risks.

For continuing coverage of the case of Gabby Petito, click here.

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